The Dickinson Community Players, the oldest student-run theater group on campus, will premiere its last show of the semester, “You Can’t Take it With You.” Performances will be at 8 p.m. on May 4, and 3 and 8 p.m. on May 5 in the multipurpose room on the Dickinson side of the Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center.
The play is centered on a newly engaged couple, Alice Sycamore and Tony Kirby. When Tony’s family arrives a day early to have dinner at the Sycamores, everyone realizes how the odd, middle-class Sycamore household, full of aspiring talents and chaos, doesn’t quite mesh with the Tony’s family of proper, stiff-world Wall Street elites. The first meeting does not go so smoothly, and just as the two lovers start to realize their marriage may not work out, the Sycamore family pulls together to help Alice out.
DCP cast members said working on “You Can’t Take it With You” was an overall fun experience. Brendan Icso, an undeclared freshman who plays the lead role of Tony Kirby, said that he can’t remember having this much fun preparing for a show.
“I think a lot of it comes from the fact that the show itself is light and fun, so preparation has been a blast,” Icso said.
Rachel Wasserman, a freshman majoring in English who plays Penelope Sycamore, Alice’s mother, thinks the cast made the experience very enjoyable.
“We all get along so well, and it really shows through on stage,” Wasserman said. “When a cast has good chemistry, then the show has good chemistry and flows really well.”
Both actors agree that the show would not be where it is if not for co-directors Jorge Granja and Justin Vega. According to Icso, the co-directors allowed the play to take a very interesting artistic style that comes from having two visions combined into one.
“Jorge and Justin have been amazing,” Wasserman said. “They help us when we need them to and for being first-time directors they have been great. They work with us, and guide us and really helped bring the show together.”
Coincidentally, the first play Vega ever starred in was a high school performance of “You Can’t Take it With You,” which led him to step up and agree to co-direct the play for DCP.
“This show is actually a lot harder to pull off than other shows I’ve done in the past because it is a comedy, which I personally believe tends to be harder to do than a drama,” said Vega, a freshman majoring in psychology.
Vega commented on the challenge he was faced as a director. Because the play is set in the 1930s, it has many references and jokes from the time period that are not necessarily relevant to today.
“I’m sure when it first came out in the late 1930s it was hilarious, but to put that sort of comedy and relate it to modern day, well, let’s just say it provides us with the challenge of making an old joke funny again,” Vega said.
Granja, an undeclared sophomore, is also an actor-turned-director and is making his directing debut with “You Can’t Take it With You.”
“When I am acting, all I have to worry about is who I am talking to on stage and what I am doing,” Granja said. “As a director I have to make sure everyone is doing their job and I have to build up the image that I want to present to the audience.”
Granja thinks people will enjoy the show because they will be able to relate to at least one character, since everyone has that quirky family member or friend who they love to see.
“The show’s focus [is on] love and laughter and I personally think everyone needs a little bit of both in their lives,” Granja added.
Vega also believes audiences will love how they can relate to the characters.
“There are multiple scenes throughout the show that just emit that sense of being embarrassed of your family, but not being ashamed of who they are and where you come from, because no matter what they do, they’re still your family and at the end of the day, you accept them for who they are,” Vega said.
Tickets cost $3 and will be sold at the door.